By Andy Hargreaves

moorwell dump with truck

Councillors have accepted a series of measures that will pave the way for recycling collections to start on St Mary’s this year.

New Waste and Recycling Officer Rebecca Steggles said the ‘co-mingled’ scheme will allow residents to place paper, cardboard, plastics and metal into a single bag for collection from the kerbside.

These materials will then be sent to the mainland for recycling.

But glass will still need to go to the current bottle banks. That’s because it’s crushed locally into aggregate for building.

As part of the scheme, the two current refuse trucks will be replaced with three new vehicles.

One of those will be small enough to get through the Garrison archway.

Rebecca says the Council is hoping to lease the vehicles, which will cost around £20,000 a year.

Recycling bags will be included in the Council Tax charge for domestic households, as will collection of non-reusable waste.

But in a break with the current system, businesses will need to pre-purchase recycling bags at £2 each, while normal waste bags will be £3 each.

That’s to encourage businesses to use the recycling route for their waste, says Rebecca.

The Council says without the changes, they could be liable to fines from the Environment Agency for not complying with UK legislation.

Councillors at last week’s General Purposes meeting welcomed the new measures although there were questions about how the scheme would be rolled out to the off-islands.

St Martin’s councillor Colin Daly praised officers for finally rectifying problems with the waste site on his home island.

But he asked whether charges and licencing of businesses, similar to those on St Mary’s, would be introduced.

Cllr Marian Bennett asked whether off-islanders would finally get their waste collected from the doorstep.

But Senior Manager for Infrastructure Craig Dryden said that was unlikely and islanders would still be expected to take rubbish to a central point.

Craig said that the Council was about to retender the off-island waste contracts and that could see a single company operating across all four islands.

As part of the deal, they’ll be asked to help vulnerable adults, such as the elderly, to move their refuse.

Cllr Richard McCarthy said that already happened informally on St Agnes anyway. He said when he leaves any rubbish bags out overnight, they’re taken away by a kind resident “without question.”

No date has been set for when the new systems will come into force.